I debated a long time in my head whether to start this follow-up to Why Worry with the pros or cons. Let’s get the cons out of the way first. I made a whole bunch of mistakes in prepping for the festival. However, every one of them provided me with such useful information, I wouldn’t change a thing had I to do it all over again. Now, moving forward, there will be many things I will do better. Without those mistakes, I would never have even been able to learn those lessons. Some things are only learned in the Doing.
The pro’s are numerous and many. I am OVERFLOWING with GRATITUDE. People rallied together for me in a way I could never have even imagined. I feel so, so, so supported. There could be 20 blogs filled with the various acts of support that I experienced the last week. Before even leaving New York, people were showing up to help me with rehearsal, running lines, etc. My director commuted hours into the city & kicked ass in shaping the piece. People who didn’t really know me well opened their homes for me to stay. Both places were miraculously walking distance to the majority of the venues I had to be at. My video angel could not get to the festival so he sent his camera with a friend who was driving back home to Maryland. His friend lives a forty-five minute drive away from the venue in Mt. Rainier but he and his wife drove recorded the show and then handed the camera off. Unbeknownst to me, someone I knew was driving in from the tri-state to see the show had made arrangements to get the camera back to my video angel. One of my troop members braved the unforgiving heat on a long public transportation excursion to reach me and was nothing but supportive once there. The tech crew of the space was amazing with the VERY limited time they had to see the shoe cues. Unsolicited transportation showed up on time exactly when it was needed. Every. Single. Time. It was needed. I was touched by many angels.
I met interesting people like a woman who runs the Washington Writer’s Retreat in Mt. Rainier, MD. Had an amazing conversation about the challenges and benefits of living life on purpose with a man who teaches non-violent communication. Both of these happened in a wonderful place called Urban Eats Cafe. Oh, if only NYC afforded cafe owners that much space!
I learned that despite having:
- to pull an unexpected amount of weight in producing a show when I should have been handling the marketing of this show
- my car burning out of the blue
- to pack up everything into boxes and get out of my apartment for emergency repair of a cracked building beam
- one of my best friends dying in a freak accident and having to hunt down next of kin so he could have a proper home going
- only having 15 minutes to prepare the tech crew to run the sound & lights for the show (with the sound tech of the show that was starting in 30 min needing to get into the booth)
- a severe storm that led to warnings for people not to drive and stay home the night of my show (2 million people in the DC area were left without electricity the following day)
- the house manager of the space rushing me (after I was let into the space 40 min late at no fault of my own) & warning me over and over again RIGHT before I go onstage that the electricity would probably go out, the space could flood and so I need to think of how to cut my show short. She also walked out on the stage when my troop member was performing to give her a flashlight… just in case.
I can still show up and do what I say I am going to do. Despite challenges we can still show up and do the best we humanly could under the given circumstances. I wanted to cancel weeks before. I think it would have been understood. I showed up anyway, simply because I said I would.
I started to keep a list of all the miracles that were occurring, choosing to release the challenges that were present. I could have easily beat myself up for all of my numerous mistakes but what good would that do? Nothing. There’s value when we choose to learn and go forward. It has been a great reminder in the importance of self-care, putting oneself first and asking for help. It has been an exercise in giving fear the middle finger. A lady came up to me after the show and said, “Your show touched me, I think you’re right but it’s scary.” So many times, we never jump in for fear of doing something wrong, fear of failure, fear of success (and the responsibilities that come with it), fear of what others will think or say, being paralyzed by fear period, analysis paralysis (getting ready to get ready and never actually starting because of our perfectionism), etc. Fear doesn’t go away necessarily. We do, however, develop the skill to act despite fear. The more we do it the easier pushing through fear becomes. We can have worked that muscle quite a bit in life and the fear still presents itself.
I say all this to say that worry was not useful in any way during any of this. So, why worry. It doesn’t help us. Brainstorming solutions serve us. Taking actions towards resolve serves us. Staying present and taking care of what is before us now serves us. Worry does not.
I’m working on a list of Lessons I’ve learned From Risk… Maybe that will be a future post.